Highlighting the importance of honoring the sacrifices made by local veterans, this upcoming Veterans Day, State Senator Neil Anderson (Andalusia) is providing several opportunities for constituents to say thank you for your service. Students in 6, 7, and 8th grades are encouraged to participate in Senator Anderson’s Veterans Day Essay contest, while all constituents are asked to submit a tribute and photo of their friends and family who have served our country to be displayed in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol Nov. 1 through Nov. 13.
“Our area has a proud tradition of military service,” said Anderson. “This Veterans Day let’s take extra care to recognize and teach our children about the brave men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms. I hope you will encourage the kids in your life to participate in this essay contest.”
For the contest, students will submit a 300-400-word essay based on the prompt “What is the history of Veterans Day, and why is it important that we celebrate this day each year?” A judge panel of military veterans will review the students’ submitted work and select one winning essay, as well as three to five runners-up essays.
The contest winner and finalists will have the opportunity to visit the Senator at the State Capitol in Springfield on a 2018 Spring Legislative Session Day and will receive Certificates of Recognition from the Illinois Senate. The first-place essay will also be featured in the 2017 Veterans Day Display at the Capitol in November.
All essays and contest entry forms must be submitted to Anderson’s district office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 26. Participants may also drop by the office or mail their entries to 1825 Ave. of the Cities, Suite 1, Moline, IL 61265. Contest details are available at senatorneilanderson.com.
Aside from the essay contest, Anderson is also encouraging constituents to submit a tribute and photo of loved ones who have served to be displayed in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol.
“Most of us have a brother, sister, mother, father or friend who has served our nation in one of the branches of the US Armed Forces, on Veterans Day, let’s show them that their sacrifices have not been forgotten,” said Anderson.
Families are to submit a photo and written story (max: 250 words) along with the following information: name, military branch (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard, Navy) and conflict served (Afghanistan, Iraq, September 11, Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI, Peacetime, other). Military photos are preferred but not necessary.
Please email submissions to email@example.com by Oct. 30. Submissions can also be mailed to Veterans Day Wall, 309 G Statehouse, Springfield, IL 62706. For questions, call 217-782-1650.
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is also partnering with Sen. Anderson on this tribute to veterans.
“This Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our Illinois Heroes and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free every day of our lives,” said Erica Jeffries, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
For those who submit a tribute and would like to visit the Capitol to see their loved ones story on display, you can check out this video before you travel to Springfield.